Earlier this week, I discussed 11 ways to market your writing services. In this post, we’ll delve into 10 more marketing methods, this time using social media and the Internet.
1. Use LinkedIn. If you subscribe to one of the paid levels on LinkedIn, you can send InMail messages to anybody you want. At the $25 level you can send three a month, at the $50 one, 10 a month. The people don’t have to be connected to you. You can just identify prospects and send them a pitch letter. Here’s the kicker: LinkedIn reports sending InMail has a 30 percent response rate. Apparently it’s just so new and novel that it gets you noticed. That’s right–for every 10 of these you send, three prospects will contact you. Killer!
Other ways I use LinkedIn: Look at the “Who’s viewed my profile” box and click on “More.” Sometimes you’ll get an exact name, and then you can send them a message. Great way to connect with prospects. LinkedIn is also a happening place for job ads–many of them are exclusive to the site. Just toggle the search bar to ‘jobs’ and put in your key words.
2. Publish articles on Biznik. Writing a strong, informational article on the networking site Biznik is a great way to attract attention and find clients. Each week, many members (including me) get a digest of the most highly read and rated articles of the week…great way to get your expertise in front of a large audience of business professionals.
3. Find contacts on Twitter. For those who haven’t discovered this 140-character wonderland yet, Twitter is like the Wild West of networking in that it’s wide open–tons of companies and publication editors are on there learning and meeting new people. You can do searches on key words (such as a publication name you’re targeting), find people, and follow them. They’ll often check you out and follow back. You can use their profile to learn more about them, lurk around and see what they’re into, build up your cred on the system with followers and insightful post, and then direct mail (DM) them a very short intro or pitch, or contact them on email. You can also attract prospects by tweeting about what you’d like to do, i.e. “Looking to connect with more business magazine editors.” Twitter is also an increasingly popular place to find job listings. I set up a list with a bunch of writing-job tweeters on my page, so I can see a realtime feed of them at a single click.
4. Use your blog. Your blog can be a place for you to slap up your daily musings, or it can be an amazing showcase for your best writing. Read great bloggers who discuss the art of this format–Problogger, Chris Brogan or Write to Done, for instance–to get a sense of how brilliant you need to be. Then write it, circulate it around in social media, and they will come. Leverage your blog to get better blog assignments from more highly trafficked sites, and clients will find you through reading your posts. Happening to me all the time these days.
5. Comment on other people’s blogs. Participate in popular blogs on your topic. Sign with your URL and mention your latest blog post to draw interested visitors to your site. Then…see #4. I just got a serious mentoring prospect from a single comment I left on the About.com site for freelance writers along with my site URL, for instance.
6. Email marketing. Build an email list from prospect nibbles you get and business cards you collect at networking events. Create an e-newsletter with business writing tips. Send information every couple of weeks or so to keep your name in front of prospects — maybe a tips article, or a piece of news you noticed that you think would benefit your potential clients. Be helpful.
7. Facebook fan pages. Got a blog? Set up a fan page for it. Even if you don’t, set up a fan page just for you as a writer. Hold contests, take polls, get people interested. A growing way to connect with prospects, particularly those looking for writers who understand social media.
8. Web video. Video is an exploding online marketing tool. Make a short video describing how you work with clients and put it on YouTube. It’s one of the most trafficked sites on the Internet. Need I say more?
9. Google local and Citysearch. A lot of writers aren’t aware of Google’s local feature that allows you to put your business on the little map that often appears at the top of keyword searches. Great way to jump to the top of natural search results. Likewise, Citysearch recently went back to allowing free listings. So go get yours. When I did mine, there was like a big one other writer on there for all of Seattle. Score!
10. Your neighborhood forum. If you’re looking for small business clients or local publications, check out local forums. I’m on one on BigTent for moms on the island where I live, and it’s an amazing resource for knowing what’s going on in my community…and a specialized, intimate setting to get out the word about my writing.
Are you finding clients through social media? If so, leave your success story below. If not, what questions do you have about how to go about it? Let me know–I’m happy to answer reader questions here on the MALW blog.
Photo source: Flickr user webtreats